Friday, December 21, 2007

Wrapping up early

What can I say? It's that oft-dreaded time of year when everyone comes up with some assinine year-end list of the "best of", "worst of" or "best of the worst of" as well as hundreds of other variations of the same. The fact is that they all end up sounding exactly the same.

I could promise to be different but I thrive on sameness because America is, after all, one large strip mall following the equation of Starbucks, Applebee's, T-Mobile store... repeat. Seriously, look around you. But in the meantime, direct your miniscule attention spans here and pay some attention to my 2007 music wrap up.

Face it, 2007 sucked musically. Sure, summer had the Live Earth concerts around the world which were televised by NBC so poorly that I almost wished that MTV had televised them instead but quickly came back to earth and remembered that MTV and music don't go together any more.

It was nice to see so many fossil fuel guzzling musicians come together for a legitimate cause and some of the music -- yes even Kanye West -- was a refreshing break from the 90-plus degree temperatures that enveloped Minnesota that particular Saturday afternoon.

Having reminisced, now it's time for the awards. No rambling acceptance speeches. No list of nominees. Just awards.

Best Year:
Justin Timberlake
JT is a legitimate talent. I say that without having to hold back any bile. Sure, he was in a boy band but he's shed that horrid image and become someone whose music I can admit that I listen to. He's been everywhere including in Cameron Diaz's pants.

Biggest Makeover:
Nelly Furtado
Sure, Furtado's older tunes always had a hint of hip-hop in them but her music was always more instrument oriented as oppose to her most recent reinvention as a singer belting out ass-shaking rhythms. Her move to hip-hop from her former style of folksy-alternative-singer/songwriter style may have alienated her fans but those thirteen Canadians will move on.

Biggest Douchebag:
Akon
I hate rap/hip-hop and this piece of crap pisses me off. He prides himself on parlaying a music career out of his time spent behind bars -- hence the clever play on words as Akon. Staying true to his roots, earlier this year at one of his shows he pulled a girl up on stage and dry-humped her. The problem being that she was 14. He has refused to take responsibility for incorporating that move into his show and went as far as to write a song which recounts his terrible ordeal. Boo-frickin'-hoo. He lost his sponsorship deal because he's a dipshit who thought it would be entertaining to clothes-fuck a 14 year old.

Moving on...

Biggest Comeback:
Pink (P!nk)
Pink came back from a rather long hiatus as well as a somewhat meager debut and follow-ups to release an actual great pop disc (her 4th) in a year where pop music seems to be nothing but hip-hop. She's got a diverse sound that ranges from softer-edged hip-hop to full on rocking pop. Her latest single is the political anthem "Dear Mr. President" which should carry over in terms of popularity to 2008 and make for another mildly charged year.

Biggest Hype:
iPod Touch
Not everyone is an "early adopter" of technology but this thing is damn cool. If we didn't already each have an iPod and had a few hundred bucks lying around, we'd already have one. Plus it doesn't hurt that Apples' commercials are as cool as, possibly cooler, than their products and I'm all about the cool -- especially with my earlier confession of liking Fall Out Boy.

Biggest Album:
It's impossible to name just one so why not name five of the best albums instead?!?
Tegan and Sara - The Con
Wow. This disc just proves that these Canadian twins can hold their own against anything made here in the states. Each track is single-worthy and while the latest offerings are more "polished" and produced than their earlier stuff, it's easy to tell that the sisters still share writing duties and haven't lost their indie roots.

Feist - The Reminder
Another Canadian -- maybe they are plotting something or maybe America is just discovering that there are other things outside of hockey and maple syrup that come from north of the border. Seriously, though, check out her live performance from Jimmy Kimmel, watch the director's cut of "1,2,3,4" and listen to the whole disc straight through and soak in the wide variety of tunes that Leslie Feist can create.

Against Me! - New Wave
These Florida punk-rockers hit it big this year with the amazing single "Thrash Unreal". Not too shabby for a major label debut but the years of polishing their craft truly show when compared against some of their earlier tunes. The vocal are crisper and the chorus of "Thrash Unreal", well any tune featuring the phrase 'junkie' gets my stamp of approval because 'junkie' on the radio=pure gold.

Arcade Fire - Neon Bible
Weird, more Canadians. After reading the back and forth interview in Spin featuring lead singer Winn Butler and legendary rocker Bruce Springsteen, I have a newfound appreciation for Arcade Fire. At first listen, they may seen rather eclectic based on the instruments used and the sounds created (listen very closely where the audio will be crisp and clean - not in your car) but pair this disc with their freshman release - Funeral - and you'll see the progression and the maturity. Will they be the next Springsteen? Settle in and find out.

Bruce Springsteen - Magic
Alright, first and foremost, The Boss is a damn legend. Sometimes legends show their age and mellow out as their careers progress. Springsteen doesn't fit this particular mold. The anti-corporate anthem "Radio Nowhere" vocalizes his disdain for the very industry which made him who he is and the remainder of the disc is just as powerful. It won't be a breakout album that is widely remembered but for the lucky ones who caught "Radio Nowhere" on the radio and to his die-hard fans, this disc is a must-have.

There you have it, my lengthy as hell recap of 2007's tunes. Enjoy it, listen to the tunes I recapped and soak it in. I'm not quite sure if this feature will make a return for 2008 as I am exploring some other options so voice your opinion if I should keep Tuned In around!

4 comments:

Hammer said...

Merry Christmas. Thanks for the lesson in pop culture :)

Jeff said...

I agree with both JT and Bruce for 2007. Not familiar with the others but I'll need to check them out for sure.

Beth said...

God, I love Justin. sorry, but I really do. He is freakin talented!!

Other than that...music did kinda suck. I do like elliott Yamin too...don't shoot me!!

Merry Christmas!

The Future Was Yesterday said...

I have a little more info on Akon here.

If hip hop is music, then I'm MLK. I hate that stuff.....